Elsa Marquet Lienhart, Theater of Movement (France) – PIERROT BUT NOT TOO MUCH

Elsa Marquet Lienhart, daughter of directors Yves Marc and Claire Heggen of the Théâtre du Mouvement in France, completes the family of internationally renowned artists. Elsa Marquet Lienhart proves that she is a perfect art creator, just like her parents.

Over the last 40 years, they have developed a research program within the company, exploring certain topics such as: Theatricality of movement, Animality, Human gait, Musicality of movement, Body expression in thoughts and emotions etc.

I met these explorers of the performing arts at the Babel Festival, organized by the Tony Bulandra Theater in Targoviste. Specifically, Babel 2018 – the show Aeterna, directed by Claire Heggen – Elsa Marquet Lienhart and Babel 2019 – the show ALBA, directed by Yves Marc.

Elsa Marquet confesses that she built everything on a lot of work, and it was necessary to harmonize her whole body, to be aware of herself, in order to be able to transmit both the music and the movement in the shows.

When I entered the Superior Conservatory, I had emotions for the first time in my life and my instrument did not want to sing. The more I wanted to succeed, the more I worked, the more I forced, the less I managed to play. It took me four years, amazing teachers and a lot of body awareness work to realize that it wasn’t my instrument that sang, but my body couldn’t resonate. From that moment on, the body was at the center of my concerns. ” Elsa Marquet Lienhart.

Elsa Marquet Lienhart with her mother, Claire Heggen in the show AETERNA, Babel 2018, Tony Bulandra Theater Târgoviște / Photo: Cristi Iordache

Elsa Marquet Lienhart – flutist, movement actress, teacher, director, choreographer, told us about the latest show staged by her, PIERROT MA NON TROPPO:

„We created this show for the 20th anniversary of the Association” Les Clefs de Saint Pierre „(which produces chamber music for musicians of the National Orchestra of the Capitol, Toulouse, France). The flutist, Josephine Poncelin, asked me to dance and perform Pierrot, on the song „Pierrot Lunaire” by Arnold Schoenberg. I accepted, but only if I could direct the choreograph the musicians. I try to develop transversality, to decompartmentalize the arts. Through the surrealist poems of Albert Giraud, I tried to create a drama in which musicians imagine characters such as Columbine or Cassandra (characters from Commedia del’Arte). In a dreamlike, disturbing and poetic universe, musicians dance and use instruments metaphorically. While using their instruments, the musicians are involved in the dramatic action and interact with Pierrot, allowing these songs to be accessible and intelligible. Pierrot and Colombine fall in love, but Cassandra, the cellist, opposes their love. Pierrot sinks into a dreamlike madness, mixed with passion, revenge and fiery mockery. ”


Pierrot Lunaire by Arnold Schönberg
An expressionist and surreal work composed of 21 melodramas, commissioned by Albertine Zehme, singer and actress who created it in 1902. To express this sublime music, already very dense and rich, making it accessible and intelligible, Elsa Marquet-Lienhart plays Pierrot, a naive, dreamy and childish character in motion. As a movement actress, Elsa Marquet Lienhart embodies the story of the character’s evolution: sometimes Pierrot with a light character reminiscent of the Commedia dell’Arte, sometimes a romantic, melodramatic and expressionist Pierrot, the figure of white pantomime, then even goes to a certain release of a better danced body…
Falling in love with Colombine, but unable to live his romance because of Cassandre, Pierrot will navigate between dream and reality, in an unconscious more or less nightmare in which he will embody various elements of Albert Giraud’s text.

Elsa Marquet Lienhart, Pierrot, choreography/ mime / transverse flute
Joséphine Poncelin, Colombine, flute / piccolo
Thomas Dazan, Cassandre, Cello
Victoire Bunel, Singing / Sprechgesang
Emilie Pinel, Clarinet / bass clarinet
Marianne Puzin, violin
Anne-Sandrine Duchêne, viola
Emilie Véronese, piano

Artistic advisor: Yves Marc
Yves Marc has been the director, actor and co-artistic director of the Théâtre du Mouvement since 1975, alongside Claire Heggen. He is also the co-founder of Les Transversales, the European Academy of Gesture Arts. Co-instigator of GLAM (the French movement for the arts of Mime and Gestural Theater). Synergist and technician in NLP (neuro-linguistic programming). Body mime student with Etienne Decroux. Over the last 40 years, he has developed, in collaboration with Claire Heggen, a research program within the company, exploring certain topics such as: Theatricality of movement, Animality, Human gait, Musicality of movement, Body expression in thoughts and emotions, etc. . He directed about 20 songs that were part of the major creations of the company’s repertoire. In 2012, he created a solo, Ce Corps qui Parle, which visited Avignon, Montreal, Brussels and various French festivals. His teaching style is recognized in France and abroad: national theater schools, circus performances, various workshops. He has given numerous lectures on the company’s major artistic themes.

French text and musical adaptation: Alphonse Cemin, Hélène Quiniou and Maxime Pascal

Partners: Toulouse City Hall – Mazades Cultural Center, Capitole Theater, National Institute of Applied Sciences, Blagnac Conservatory, Toulouse Institute of the Arts, Yves Marc Company – Theater of Movement


Images from the Oficial Media Archive, June 19, 2019, interview with Elsa Marquet Lienhart about the show ALBA:

Translation: Lorena Iordache

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